Japanese kitchen utensils have been drawing more and more attention around the world.
Originally, the Japanese knife cuts well, which has been highly appreciated by cooks worldwide. In addition to the Japanese knife, a wide variety of Japanese kitchen utensils have started being valued around the world.
“Japanese kitchen utensils are meticulously manufactured and have a variety of selections in size. They are some of the aspects why Japanese kitchen utensils are highly supported worldwide.
Daisuke Kumazawa, fourth-generation owner of Kamaasa Shouten, a long-standing store specialized in kitchen utensils established in 1908, in Kappabashi, Tokyo. Kumazawa often displays his selected items at exhibitions held in overseas countries such as Paris.
Kumazawa says, “What we Japanese take it for granted sometimes surprises people in different countries”.
For example, their store, Kamaasa Shouten handles over 1,000 knives in more than 80 kinds, which is an astonishing number not only for foreigners but also the Japanese. However, it is not limited only to Japanese knives. Items such as bowls, strainers and trays also have a wide variety of selections. Kumazawa says that this very user-friendliness of Japanese items may be one of the reasons why they are well received around the world.
According to Kumazawa, there exist strenuous efforts being made by Japanese cooks behind an increasing popularity of the “user-friendliness” of kitchen utensils.
“There are so many Japanese cooks who have been playing an important role in the kitchens at many famous restaurants around the world. When they let a fellow cook use their knives, they are very surprised at how easily they can cut ingredients. This is how foreigners start being interested in Japanese knives,” says Kumazawa.
He added, “The fundamental approach is different between Japanese knives and western ones. One of the expressions that is frequently used when using Japanese knife is “Sashimi wo hiku” (slide a knife horizontally against fish meat for sashimi, by which you can cut fish meat delicately and beautifully). In contrast, western knives are intended to use vertically against meat.
Because of a lot of Japanese successful cooks and highlight shed on molecular gastronomy, delicacy is a sought-after factor in the global food industry more than ever before. Kumazawa analyzes that, backed by this world trend, tons of cooks have found Japanese kitchen utensils useful all the more.
Having said that, you can purchase a complete set of kitchen utensils at a very reasonable price when you go to so called a hundred-yen store. Also, quality utensils require extensive care on a regular basis. Even so, why do you still need to use good and quality utensils? “The answer to that question lies in ‘growing’ of those utensils”, says Kumazawa in his book released recently.
He added, “From the moment of purchase, some utensils start following a path to deterioration. If you purchase this kind of utensils, you have to keep purchasing an alternative when it ruins. On the other hand, if you purchase a good and quality one, the longer you use, the better hand touch it would give to you, which gives a profound and even glamorous atmosphere to its appearance.” (excerpt from “Kamazasa Shouten’s guide to ‘kitchen utensils’”)
Of course, you can expect a lot of benefits in practical aspects by using good and quality utensils – you can not only cook ingredients tender but also use the items for tens of years, even for the rest of your life. From that perspective, it would be recommended for you to consider a choice of what price range would be best suited to your lifestyle and values.
For example, if an expensive material is used to the handle of a knife or if special design is put on the blade of a knife, the price tends to be expensive. However, the materials and design are not directly linked to sharpness of a blade. In other words, higher price cannot necessarily be translated as good quality. You should go to a specialty store and listen to explanation you need to know from an expert before making a big decision. In the internet, you’re recommended to check the specialized article as follows,
Kamaasa Shoten’s policy is to focus on letting customers know about the real nature of each utensils. They not only show them the place of manufacturing and the process of manufacturing but also by hold a seminar to explain the details and a lecture on how to take care of them both at their store in Japan and at the exhibitions overseas.
Kumazawa concluded, “I always put a tremendous effort into selling a knife to a person”.